What Is a Retrofit Installer Technician?

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Employer
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Weatherization Assistance Program
Image of a Retrofit Installer Technician
Image of a Retrofit Installer Technician
Learn more about experience requirements, the work environment, and advancement opportunities.

Alternate Titles

Weatherization Installer and Technician, Home Performance Laborer

Job Type

Full-time, regular weekly schedule, typically Monday–Friday, with potential for occasional travel and weekend work.

Education

High school diploma, GED, or equivalent (preferred, but not necessary).

Experience

Entry-level position with some experience in construction or energy efficiency (preferred, but not necessary).

Training

No prior experience needed, on-the-job training provided with opportunities to receive nationally recognized certifications.

Apprenticeships

One pathway to this career is a Registered Apprenticeship through the U.S. Department of Labor. Visit DOL to learn more about the apprenticeship occupation for Home Performance Laborer (Residential).

Salary Range

$25,000$40,000 per year.

Work Environment

Both indoors and outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. Working in customers’ homes with a broad range of household types (both single-family and multifamily).

Overview

A Retrofit Installer Technician performs energy efficiency upgrades in residential buildings, helping reduce household energy costs while making homes more comfortable and sustainable. You will use a variety of building science best practices that enhance energy conservation and also improve indoor air quality and safety. 

In this role, you will gain knowledge about building science principles, safety protocols, and construction techniques to ensure that upgrades are installed properly and cost-effectively. 

This position requires both technical skills and customer service skills, as you will be working with homeowners and energy auditors to identify the best energy-saving measures for homes during the retrofit process.

The Job

  • Install energy-saving measures in residential buildings, such as insulation and weatherization materials.
  • Install health and safety measures in residential buildings and ensure that all installations meet safety and quality standards.
  • Ensure that all weatherization work is completed efficiently and to the highest quality standards.
  • Conduct diagnostic testing to identify energy inefficiencies in homes and to evaluate the effectiveness of energy-saving measures.
  • Provide excellent customer service and communicate with homeowners throughout the retrofit process.
  • Work with program staff to identify areas for improvement in the weatherization process.
  • Help your community and the environment by making a difference in customers’ households. 
  • Maintain positive relationships with customers and program staff.

Earnings

The salary range for Retrofit Installer Technicians varies depending on location and experience. The salary range for a Retrofit Installer Technician is typically between $25,000 and $40,000 per year. Benefits may include health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.*

*Data is from the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP), based on a 40-hour work week. These wages are national averages and may vary by state and/or employer. Wage ranges represent the 25th to 75th percentile of workers.

Work Environment

As a Retrofit Installer Technician, you will work onsite in residential buildings, both indoors and outdoors. Retrofit Installer Technicians work in the living spaces, attics, and/or crawl spaces of a home. The work may involve heavy lifting, bending, and climbing to access these areas with tools and equipment. You may work in homes that are not temperature controlled, and may be exposed to hazardous materials such as lead, asbestos, and mold. The work scope may be performed in all types of weather and home environments. Residents will be living in the home and ongoing communication is essential, along with safety protocols to ensure the well-being of both yourself and the homeowner. 

Weatherization technician spraying insulation

A Day in the Life

Retrofit Installer Technicians work both indoors and outdoors, often in hot or cold weather conditions. They use a variety of tools and equipment, such as power saws and drills, to install insulation, weatherstripping, and other materials to improve energy efficiency in homes.

Education and Training Requirements

A Retrofit Installer Technician requires either a high school diploma or equivalent, state career readiness certificate, and/or industry-specific experience. Free on-the-job training is provided to ensure that all technicians have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform energy efficiency upgrades.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

You will not need to obtain certification prior to starting the job. Once you are employed, the local Weatherization Assistance Program provider will pay for certification as part of the on-the-job training process.

The Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analyst Technician and Envelope Professional certifications are the preferred certifications for Retrofit Installer Technicians. Information on the prerequisites for this certification can be found here.

Other certifications, such as OSHA 10-hour or 30-hour, may also be required or recommended. State and local regulations may also require additional certifications or licensing, such as the EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP).

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

The Retrofit Installer Technician requires a combination of technical knowledge, communication skills, and physical abilities. Some key traits and skills include:

  • Basic knowledge of building science principles preferred, but not necessary.
  • Ability and interest in working with tools and equipment as part of day-to-day work.
  • Attention to detail to ensure that all installations meet safety and quality standards.
  • Customer service skills to work with homeowners throughout the retrofit process.
  • Strong communication skills to explain complex technical information to homeowners.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Physical stamina to perform the work, which may involve heavy lifting, bending, and climbing.
  • Experience working with diverse communities and understanding the unique needs of different cultural backgrounds or households.
  • Demonstrating understanding towards diverse needs and situations when providing weatherization services.
Credit: NREL Image Gallery 72227

In-Demand Skills

Retrofit Installer Technicians must have good manual dexterity, physical stamina, and the ability to work in a team environment. They must also be able to follow safety procedures and work with hand and power tools.

Employment Prospects

As a Retrofit Installer Technician, you can find employment in a variety of settings, including government agencies, private contractors, and nonprofit organizations. In particular, the Weatherization Assistance Program provides many employment opportunities for Retrofit Installer Technicians. Job opportunities may be available both full-time and part-time, with flexible schedules depending on the employer’s needs. Connect with employers and training providers in your state to learn more.

Advancement Prospects

As Retrofit Installer Technicians gain more experience and knowledge, they can advance to positions such as Energy Efficiency Technician and Building Performance Crew Leader or Analyst. With further education and training, they can even become Energy Auditors or Quality Control Inspectors

For more information about career advancement opportunities and paths, you can visit the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Green Buildings Career Map.

Professional Groups/Associations

Professional associations for Retrofit Installer Technicians include the Building Performance Institute (BPI), Building Performance Association (BPA), and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). In addition to certification programs, these organizations provide continuing education and networking opportunities for professionals in the field.

Tips for Entry

To prepare for a career as a Retrofit Installer Technician, you can take courses in HVAC, carpentry, or other relevant fields. These courses may not be required for a job but can provide valuable experience. 

You can also consider taking a short course or training program in building science or energy efficiency. 

Additionally, volunteering with local weatherization organizations can offer experience and networking opportunities. It can also be useful to contact a local organization that provides weatherization services. Many of these organizations offer training opportunities and may be able to provide on-the-job experience.